Trixie Tracker turns one

One year ago today, Trixie Tracker launched. The past year has been a very educational one; it taught me a lot about creating and running a business as opposed to a fun design project. I wasn’t too focused on the business side of things when I was developing the beta. I loved designing, testing, coding, surveying, copy-writing, deploying, working with beta-testers and developing with developers, and generally making the site as good as I could. I didn’t spend a whole of a lot of time thinking about how a business works, and I fell into the question mark trap. You know, step number two:

1. Cool idea
2. ???
3. Profit!

I shouldn’t have been so naive.

The real issue is that I had no expectation of the company making any money while we were in beta. How could it? But once we threw the credit card processing switch, everything changed. Now the company didn’t have an excuse to be a freeloader. It’s funny how a labor of love becomes a cold economic calculation overnight. I quickly realized that I needed to subsidize the company (as well as take care of my family) so I got a job and let Trixie Tracker run.

Well, it’s been running for a year now without any problems. We did a good job building it in beta. But I wasn’t able to invest anything else into the company until it proved itself. Trixie Tracker had to sink or swim. I’m happy to say that it’s swimming. The application has proved itself and can start paying for its own development. That’s exciting to me. Of course, I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to develop all along. But I’m interested in where Trixie Tracker is going to be 3, 4, 5 years from now. And that may mean that I have to take a slow steady course. It’s better than crashing and burning.

Is it a good idea to reveal so much about a business in a personal blog? In my case, I think so. Since the day I signed up my first beta tester, I felt that users were trusting me with some very special data. It’s important to return that trust and be transparent. The hardest thing I’ve had to type repeatedly on the Trixie Tracker forums is, “that’s a great idea, but I don’t know when it would be implemented”. We’re going to be moving slow, but we are moving forward.

Thanks to everyone who has supported Trixie Tracker over the last year and helped us grow. It means the world to read about how the application is helping parents from all over. Here’s to another year!

My Other Baby is Turning One
We Launched

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16 Responses to Trixie Tracker turns one

  1. Melanie says:

    Awww Ben you know we all (us TT users) all LOVE you!! You and your program keep our little crazy worlds sane!!

    Thank you for all the work you’ve done for us, both during beta and launch!! I hope there’s more of that to come now that TT is ‘swimming’!!! Which by the way there was no doubt in my mind it would do!!

  2. JNeene says:

    Hi Ben,

    I am so happy to hear that TT is doing well. I felt so priviledged to be one of your beta testers. You always answered my questions and helped solve any problems that I had. I highly recommend TT to any parent, first-timers or not! Congratulations and cheers to future success!

  3. benmac says:

    Always happy to hear from TT old-timers. Glad you guys like the program so much 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Graham says:

    TT is just brilliant. We’ve got about 8 months of data in and we’re really pleased. Sure, there are areas you could (and probably will) develop over time, but as it stands it’s been a fantastic tool, and we’re really grateful.

    Best of luck to you and your family!

  5. ian c rogers says:

    Hi Ben,

    Transparency and honesty create success in 2007. Good on ya. Keep it comin’.


  6. Allen says:

    Thanks Ben for putting together such a wonderful tool for new parents! We’ve been Trixie Tracking our son since we brought him home from the hospital, and I don’t know what we’d do without it.

  7. Terri says:

    Glad to hear things are going well. I would have lost my sanity a long time ago without TT! As the mother of a non-sleeper (now 18 months old), my motto has become – what you can’t change, chart! It’s a kind of zen letting-go of control… LOL.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Melissa says:

    So glad that things are going well. The transparency is refreshing, and helps explain why some of the great ideas I’ve read in the forum haven’t made it into the program yet.

    I’ve been tracking since my almost 7 mo old came home from the hospital, and even those who initially scoffed at the idea of doing this or at whether we could keep up now have to admit that we have a lot of cool data. As data geeks, of course my husband and I knew this all along…

    Keep up the good work, or lack thereof, on TT– it is wonderful just as it is! 🙂

  9. Lindsey says:

    I almost commented when I was up at 4:30am charting my son’s latest wake up, but I decided it could wait until the morning. As much as I love your system, sleep comes first!

    Thanks for the great product. I agree, many have scoffed at the idea, but then joined in on my enthusiasm at the data. What a relief it’s been to have the knowledge of my son’s schedule for the last 6 months (even if he isn’t sleeping through the night yet!).

  10. cori w says:

    congrats!!! i was so excited when you launched the site and i was still pregnant. i didn’t get choosen to beta test and i SO wanted to track our little one. yea! we LOVE TT, thanks so much!

  11. cce says:

    So sorry that my children have jumped the shark on the trixie tracker. It would have been something else to obsess about back then, kind of like how I check my blog traffic stats like a day trader. And maybe, if I’d had a good idea of schedules and stuff my five year old wouldn’t still keep me up at night. Good luck with this. And good luck to all parents out there trying to create good sleepers. This is a national epidemic, according to the NYT and me…

  12. Nancy says:

    Ben, is there a chance the forum registration will be turned back on any time soon? I know you turned it off to prevent spammers, but I think that would be a great resource for us trackers. I have some ideas for “improvements” but don’t want to bug you in email all the time.

  13. benmac says:

    Thanks everyone! There will be more info posted as I figure out the development schedule.

    Nancy: It irks me to no end that spam shut down the forums. I hate the stuff with a passion. I am planning to get it back up, but it’s been a low priority. Until it does get up, please don’t hesitate to email me. I’m always happy to talk to users, and I try to respond very quickly. thanks!

  14. Katy says:

    I’m so glad that you are still running Trixie Tracker. I’m so proud of you – keep up the amazing work you do!

  15. Ralph says:

    Trixie Tracker is great. Keep up the great work.

    Here’s a link to a single image of my 11 mo old track from day 5 to now. Eleven hours of uninterrupted sleep for the little man last night. Nice!

  16. iggyaa says:

    I miss using Trixie Tracker and I’m still recommending it to new mom’s of twins. I’m sending out an email now in fact! If we do end up with another child or two, we’ll definitely be back!!!